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Quinoa Cranberry Chicken Salad

Quinoa cranberry chicken salad is made with slices of tender chicken breast and good-for-you quinoa. They’re tossed together with lovely citrus flavors and a tangy Asian dressing to make a beautiful, healthy dish!

I want to talk about the dreaded “E” word today. Exercise.  I’ve grown to loathe that word a lot lately. Incorporating exercise into my plans to get healthy is important, but I have a problem with that. First, I despise exercise. There is nothing that I find satisfying about sweating and achy muscles and being 60 pounds overweight in a gym full of fit people. Besides, nearly every time I start a great exercise routine at the gym, I get injured in some way. I’m beginning to feel like a 50-something person living in a 70 year old’s body, and truthfully, it’s depressing the heck out of me.

Eating foods that are lower in carbohydrates, along with strength training and getting my heart rate up to the 150 range on an elliptical bike (which, for a woman who can barely bend her knees, is nearly impossible), should be all I need to help me shed my excess weight.

The problem is, I lose 4 pounds in 2 weeks, get injured and can’t exercise for 2 weeks, so I gain back 3 of those pounds. This roller coaster has been going on since late April of this year and it is so frustrating!  If any of you have similar problems and know of an exercise routine that might help, please share your wisdom with me!

In the meantime, I’m going to continue to create healthy, nutritious, and delicious foods to eat, like this quinoa cranberry chicken salad.

Quinoa Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe - A complete meal with whole grain quinoa and chicken salad stuffed into a tomato. Perfect for a light, easy dinner! Get the recipe from ItsYummi.com

Quinoa Cranberry Chicken Salad from @itsyummi

I can’t exercise this week, but refuse to throw my face into a pan full of salted caramel brownies over it. I know that’s a recipe for disaster.

This quinoa cranberry chicken salad is nothing short of fantastic! It’s packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals from quinoa and chicken, and sweetness from the cranberries and oranges. Topped with a nutty flavored Asian dressing, you’d be wise to put on your drool bib before you dig in to this dish!

Quinoa Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe - A complete meal with whole grain quinoa and chicken salad stuffed into a tomato. Perfect for a light, easy dinner! Get the recipe from ItsYummi.com

Get out into the world, exercise a bit, and make yourself a GREAT week, everyone!

And if you love quinoa, be sure to also check out patriotic quinoa veggie salad and quinoa chickpea patties. Yummi!

 Patriotic Quinoa Salad from ItsYummi.com                 Healthy Recipe ~ Quinoa Chickpea Patties from ItsYummi.com - A vegetarian and gluten free recipe!

I hope you love this quinoa cranberry chicken salad recipe!

Quinoa Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe - A complete meal with whole grain quinoa and chicken salad stuffed into a tomato. Perfect for a light, easy dinner! \\ Get the recipe from ItsYummi.com

Quinoa Cranberry Chicken Salad

Slices of tender chicken breast and good-for-you quinoa are tossed together with lovely citrus flavors and a tangy Asian dressing to make a beautiful, healthy dish!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 17 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 356 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • .5 cup quinoa rinsed and cooked (.5 cup dry quinoa makes 1 cup cooked)
  • 8 ounces cooked chicken breast I use rotisserie chicken breast meat
  • 1 large leek cleaned and thinly sliced (white part only)
  • 1 cup Mandarin orange segments if using canned oranges, drain the syrup
  • .5 cup dried cranberries
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the Asian dressing

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 tsp rice vinegar
  • .25 cup orange juice freshly squeezed is best
  • .75 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar or raw honey
  • .5 tsp ground ginger
  • .5 tsp minced garlic

Instructions
 

  • Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Cooking time, approx. 12 minutes.
  • Cut cooked chicken breasts into small, bite-sized pieces or shred them with a fork.
  • In a large salad bowl, combine cooked quinoa, chicken, leek, oranges, and dried cranberries. Toss to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • In a small bowl, combine oil, rice vinegar, orange juice, soy sauce, sugar, ground ginger, and garlic. Whisk to combine.
  • Just before serving, toss salad with dressing, in an amount to suit your taste.
  • Serve over healthy greens or stuff into hollowed out tomatoes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 356kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 21gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 83mgPotassium: 400mgFiber: 3gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 1020IUVitamin C: 26.4mgCalcium: 37mgIron: 2.3mg
Tried this recipe? Mention @itsyummi or tag #itsyummirecipe!

 Quinoa cranberry chicken salad has tender chicken breast and protein-packed quinoa. With oranges, cranberries, and an Asian vinaigrette.

Quinoa Cranberry Chicken Salad Recipe - A complete meal with whole grain quinoa and chicken salad stuffed into a tomato. Perfect for a light, easy dinner! Get the recipe from ItsYummi.com

Stop by and visit some of the other bloggers who are on a journey to better their bodies, too!

Pint Sized Baker – Paleo Ice Cream.

The Haas Machine – What We Are.

French Press – Coconut Latte.

Say Not Sweet Anne – I Hate Running.

Je suis alimentageuse – Vegan Peach Cobbler.

Wonky Wonderful – Chicken & Salsa Verde Quinoa Bowl.

Sweet Twist Of Blogging – Week 3 Exercise.

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17 Comments

  1. Your recipe looks great, I have never tried quinoa. Good luck with your exercise, you might try swimming or recumbent bike.

    1. Thank you, Angela! Quinoa is light and fluffy like rice, but much thinner in texture. It looks strange, but tastes wonderful! 🙂
      I’ve had several people suggest a recumbent bike, so I may have to give one a try.

  2. Your photo looks great and I’m totally obsessed with quinoa these days. I haven’t sustained any exercise related injuries but I do have really bad knees and my trainer is finding all kinds of workarounds. Lots and lots of crunches to strengthen my core, flatten my belly and bring out those six packs. (That last part is a joke. Those things are firmly buried under many layers of flab!). Weights to tone my arms, various torturous things to tone my butt and thighs and lots of low impact work to compensate for the knees – primarily the treadmill (walking, not running) and the stationary bike. We ruled out the elliptical as being too risky and I suggest you do the same.

    1. Thanks for the compliment on my photo, Anita! Your suggestions for alternative exercises are very much appreciated. As for the elliptical, I would have stayed off of that even without the suggestion. It looks like a torture advice… or possibly a barf ride… maybe both! 😉

  3. First of all, your picture is beautiful. If I could take pictures like that I could actually use pictures to entice readers and double my readership.

    Second, your pics are so mouth watering that I’m going to try this recipe. And although I know this is food-lovers’ blasphemy, I don’t even like quinoa, so that’s saying a lot.

    1. You are SO sweet, Karen, thank you! I’m gonna let you in on a secret. I NEVER thought I’d like quinoa. Just something about the texture, or maybe it’s just that funky name. Anyway, once I realized that I can pair up my very favorite foods with it (ie, BACON and CHICKEN), it suddenly tasted a WHOLE lot better! Knowing that I’m not consuming mass quantities of carbohydrates when I eat it, sure helps me feel better about it, too.

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